Sustainability in Sportswear – Communicating Green Initiatives Across Cultures


Sustainability in Sportswear - Communicating Green Initiatives Across Cultures

Sustainability within the sportswear industry is always in focus and is growing increasingly essential for customers. Consumers across the globe are more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions on the environment. Research shows that 66% of all consumers and 75% of millennial consumers consider sustainability when purchasing. As consumers align their purchasing habits with their values, fashion and sportswear brands must effectively communicate their green initiatives with potential customers. 

Sportswear is a booming global market with expected growth to reach $305.67 billion by 2030. As the market grows,  companies are taking the opportunity to recognize the benefits of international expansion. However, interest in sustainable practices isn’t limited to first-world countries. Consumer satisfaction in nearly all corners of the world is interwoven with concerns surrounding climate change.

Businesses interested in expanding beyond their country’s borders will benefit from adopting a localization plan highlighting their sustainability efforts. Localization involves researching specific markets and aligning your marketing and business practices with their cultures, languages, and beliefs. By incorporating your sustainability efforts into your localization process, you can share how your eco-conscious practices reflect the values of your expanding target audience.

Sustainability Initiatives Around the Globe

As people become more aware of how individual actions and those of large businesses impact the environment, sustainable practices are becoming a significant driver for innovation, with individuals and governmental agencies demanding processes that will support a healthier ecosystem now and in the future. 

For example, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN Member States outlines 17 Sustainable Development Goals that recognize the codependent tasks of ending poverty and other depravations to spur economic growth and tackle climate change effectively. The Federal Sustainability Plan sets goals in the US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030 and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Countries worldwide are applying various sustainability efforts to create a better tomorrow. 

  • Costa Rica is on track to becoming the first carbon-neutral country. 99% of its electricity comes from renewable sources, including solar, geothermal, wind, and hydroelectric. 
  • Denmark aims to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050.
  • France requires supermarkets to redistribute leftover food to charities and currently generates 30% of its energy from renewable sources. 
  • Iceland runs on 99% renewable energy.
  • Sweden’s goal of running on 100% renewable energy focuses on developing new technologies, including passive houses.
  • Switzerland’s sustainability approach prioritizes waste and recycling management by properly disposing of all waste and turning the rest into energy (most is hydroelectrically generated).

Regarding the universal challenges surrounding sustainability, share how your green initiatives align with the sustainability goals in the area. To strike a chord with your target audience, you must show you understand their values and beliefs. 

Environmental Challenges in the Clothing and Sportswear Industry

High-quality sportswear features materials that enhance physical movement, safeguard against extreme activity, wick sweat, and promote breathability. Such fabrics are lightweight, stretchy, strong, and durable enough to withstand peak athletic performance. Recycled materials must retain these properties as well as their original synthetic counterparts. 

Technology has recently enabled companies to transform discarded plastics, recycled textiles, and industrial waste into sustainable activewear fabrics. These materials are often indistinguishable from non-recycled fabrics, offering breathability and flexibility while being sustainable.

How Can Global Sportswear Brands Promote Their Sustainability Efforts?

Effective localization of your sportswear brand offers benefits like:

  • Increased conversions
  • Improved customer loyalty
  • A positive brand image

Incorporating your sustainability efforts into your localization strategy lets you show potential customers you share their environmental concerns. While green initiatives work interdependently toward the same overarching goal, they’re not identical. Accurate translation and adaptation to local needs and regulations show your target audience that you created the product for them. These tips can help you show potential customers how your sustainability efforts align with local green initiatives in various locales. 

1. Share Information Relevant to Your Target Country’s Sustainability Initiatives

Different countries have various sustainability goals, regulations, and processes. Accurately localized marketing materials show your target audience that your products were intended for them, which may mean connecting your green initiatives to local goals, regulations, or recycling processes. The information you share should be location-specific and accurately translated.

2. Use Recyclable Packaging That Aligns With Local Recycling Processes

Delivering orders in recyclable packaging is one way to promote sustainability. However, recycling processes are distinctive to specific districts. They can differ substantially from one town to the next. When choosing recyclable packaging, consider how it aligns with recycling requirements in your target location. Include individualized recycling instructions to ensure accuracy for each location. 

3. Offer Repair Services

Sportswear is designed to be durable in the most extreme circumstances. However, accidents are inevitable, and damage can occasionally occur. Globally, humans consume 400 times more clothing than 20 years ago. Clothing that ends up in the landfill when it could easily be repaired contributes to waste pollution. 

Waste reduction is a solution that naturally aligns with all sustainability goals. By offering repair services, you show customers that you stand behind your products and expect them to last. Producing high-quality activewear designed to last can help you establish your brand and build customer loyalty. Repair services also assure your customers they’ll be able to enjoy your products longer. Include instructions for repair services with the product and on your website so customers can easily redeem your offer if necessary. 

4. Compose Products From Organic and Recycled Materials

Sustainability begins with construction. In the same way that building materials enable construction teams to construct buildings with a lower carbon footprint, the materials you use improve the sustainability of your products. Using recycled materials reduces the production of new plastics, diminishing the use of fossil fuels required to make them. Organic materials decrease toxic chemicals and water consumption and can reduce your company’s carbon footprint. They are also naturally biodegradable and don’t contribute to land and water pollution. 

Use your marketing materials to share information about the materials you use in your products. Ensure you use accurate translations, including symbols and recycling information. 

Use Localization to Share Your Eco-Conscious Practices in Your Sportswear Marketing Content

Sustainability is a global concern that unites all consumers and the brands they interact with. In an industry with a reputation for substantially contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and landfill waste, it’s essential to share your green initiatives. Localization allows you to connect with customers in a global market. Your sustainability efforts are an essential part of your business and a selling point for your sportswear products. Quality localization services allow you to seamlessly reach new markets and connect with customers over shared environmental goals. 

Vistatec has over 25 years of localization and translation experience, making the company the ideal partner for establishing your sportswear business in new locations. Learn more about how we can help you use your green initiatives to create a deeper connection with your international audience.